With the exception of the first story, today’s ‘good people’ are all doing small things but … boy, sometimes those little things sure can mean a lot!
For more than 20 years, the nonprofit Students Rising Above (SRA) has provided low-income, first-generation college students with financial assistance, internships, career counseling and more.
Now, the nonprofit has announced another incredible milestone. Anonymous donors have stepped forward with a gift that will change the lives of approximately 400 graduates – providing up to $8 million to pay off their college debt.
Elizabeth Devaney, CEO at SRA, informed the students with a surprise announcement on a Zoom video call.
“What I want to share with you tonight is that anonymous SRA donors have presented us with a remarkable gift. It’s intent is to eliminate student loan debt for you.”
Students like Dr. Zachary Tabb, who graduated medical school two years ago and owes around $160,000, is now going to be debt-free.
“It’s life changing. I’ve had debt … really my entire adult life. And so, it’s just something that everywhere you go, it follows you … So… this has been nice in that way where I can sort of look broader in terms of what I do next.”
Law school graduate Kimberly Armstrong owes nearly $300,000 in student loans.
“It’s a shock. It’s amazing. It’s a relief, though. Once you start kind of setting in, there’s this weight that, comes off of you. Literally, it’s a weight lifted.”
What a wonderful group of anonymous people!!!
Ms, Ingeborg is a teacher of the Bavinck school in Haarlem in the Netherlands. The school had closed early due to the coronavirus pandemic, like all schools around the world.
“It was all up and running that the school closed. It all hit me like this. The children were no longer in school. And I miss them so much.”
One day while browsing Pinterest, she saw a knitted doll. Without any lessons, she decided she was going to knit a doll for each of her 23 students!The teacher clothed the dolls to each student’s preference. The girls who wore cardigans to school, she made cardigans for on their doll. The boys that wore sweaters, had sweaters. She even included details like freckles and glasses.
When the students came to the school one by one to collect their belongings, she gave out the dolls to the children, who were really excited to see them in person.
Ms. Ingeborg even made a doll of herself!Her students loved the dolls so much, Ms. Ingeborg says she plans to make them each year for her students.
Josh Crowell, who delivers mail on routes near Concord, New Hampshire, has been delivering hand-written notes with a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card to homes with graduation signs on their lawns.
So far, Crowell has handed out at least 25 gift cards.
“$5 isn’t much, but it’s something so that the kids can get out of the house and go get a doughnut and an iced coffee. I’m not very well-off myself, but I look at it as, if I put a smile on somebody’s face, then I will do it.”
No, $5 isn’t much, but on a mail carrier’s salary, it’s a lot … and it’s the thought, the caring, that counts most. He’s received many thank-you notes from seniors responding to his gift cards. One of the thank-you cards read …
“This year has not been easy for most, but I think being able to make someone’s day is important. … Thank you for being an essential worker, it means a lot.”
Thumbs up to Mr. Crowell!
Chelsea Phaire is ten years old and lives in Danbury, Connecticut. Chelsea’s parents helped her launch “Chelsea’s Charity” on her birthday in August 2019, when she asked party guests to donate art supplies instead of getting her birthday gifts. Says Chelsea’s mom, Candace …
“Since she was seven, she was begging me and her dad to start a charity. She was so persistent, every couple of months she would ask, ‘Are we starting Chelsea’s Charity yet?’ When she was turning 10, she asked us again, and we decided it was time to go for it.”
Through her charity, Chelsea Phaire has sent more than 1,500 art kits — which include markers, crayons, paper, coloring books, and colored pencils — to homeless shelters and foster care homes art kits to give the children something uplifting to do when they’re feeling down.
I was thinking about this, thinking that I’ve never considered that particular need, and it came to me … it takes a kid to understand what kids most need!
After her birthday, Chelsea used the donations to send out her first 40 art kits to a homeless shelter in New York. Before the pandemic, Chelsea traveled with her mom across the country to meet the kids in-person and taught them some of her favorite drawing techniques. Now that Chelsea is unable to physically interact with the kids, she is mailing the art kits. Since March, when schools began to close, Chelsea has sent over 1,500 kits to schools, shelters, and foster homes in 12 states across the U.S.
A few weeks ago, as an addition to my ‘good people’ post, I added a “good critter stories” section and noted that from time to time I might find critters helping others, whether it be humans or other critters. I was touched today by this crow who appeared to be helping a hedgehog cross the street …
Lately, I’ve taken inventory of myself and found myself lacking. Each week when I write these good people posts, they lift my spirits, but they also make me feel that all I’m doing is writing about those who are out there actually doing good things. I no longer volunteer my time at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen as I once did, I haven’t rescued a stray critter for several years now … well, I really can’t seem to do much. Quite frankly, it has been a source of some depression for me, feeling next to useless in this world. I was discussing this with our friend David the other night, and he posited that perhaps it’s enough that I shine the light on these good people, and maybe I motivate some of my readers to do some small acts to help others. I like to think he’s right. Think of these people doing little things … let’s all try to find some little thing we can do to bring a ray of light into someone else’s life, shall we?